Who would have known.
After a viral tweet by actress Alyssa Milano who accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. In fact, she was one of many allegations against Weinstein. It turns out, Weinstein had decades-long of a history of abuse from the women he worked with.
Thousands and thousands of sexual assault stories women who survived sexual violence would share would make society have more transparent conversations about assault and abuses of power than ever before in history.
The Me Too movement is a social movement against sexual abuse and sexual harassment where people publicize allegations of sex crimes and it has taken the world by storm.
The movement is to create change in our culture regarding how we prevent, and respond to, sexual harassment and sexual assault has without a doubt changed the landscape of the world (for the better).
The Low-Down On “Sexual Misconduct” And “Sexual Harassment”
Sexual misconduct is a term to describe any type of unsolicited or unwanted behavior, committed through force, intimidation, or manipulation. By the way, both men and women can be guilty of sexual misconduct.
Sexual harassment on the other hand is any kind of unwelcome, uninvited verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature it also extends to making offensive comments about gender in general.
The movement began a decade before it really gained momentum and started to produce tangible consequences for those accused. Many Americans feel more politically inclined and take more action after Trump was elected.
The political climate and widespread social media use helped #MeToo expand its message. It has affected numerous industries throughout the United States. In fact, laws were put in place to require sexual harassment training in California and New York.
More than 7,500 sexual harassment claims were filed with the EEOC in FY 2018, which was a 14 percent increase from the prior year.
“We recommend training once a year,” says Jay Starkman, founder, and CEO of Engage PEO, a professional employer organization. “It should touch on exactly what the company will do once a complaint is made, and what the ramifications will be.”
The Impact Around The World
Women from all over the world embraced the #MeToo movement. Spurts of women presenting their sexual harassment or misconduct stories began flooding the news. South Korea, Sweden, and Egypt, even had landmark cases that first sparked a judgment on sexual violence in these countries have ALL handed victories to the accusers.
Different spinoffs of the tagline began to be promoted across different countries.
Why Women Stay Silent
According to INC Magazine, “54 percent of women report workplace harassment“. How many of those were actually reported though?
Despite the #MeToo movement’s support, most victims still don’t officially report such incidents to the police or to their workplace. RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) has found that only 230 assaults will be reported for every 1,000 that take place.
Based on the research, after an attack, speaking about the misconduct has been found to trigger PTSD, which many victims experience after such a trauma. It’s no surprise why the reported numbers are so low. With the popularity of social media, women are able to support one another to express their voices and share their sexual misconduct stories.
Opening Our Eyes To Sexual Discrimination
Sexual discrimination has always taken place in the world. The #MeToo movement has shined a light on the situation and sparked the world to evaluate the misconduct against women. I hope this progress continues to through the years and we can help combat sexual harassment from happening in the workplace as well as in our everyday lives. Let’s all join together and start empowering each other instead of abusing.